What you should know about me.
I began working with children and parents when I was myself still quite young. My mother owned and directed a Montessori pre-school and camp in Brooklyn. On public holidays, spring break and summers, from grade school to college, I would go in and work for my mom. I read kids stories, taught them how to write and did activities with them in the spirit of the Montessori Child-Centered method, where children are taught to be independent and to direct their own learning. I observed my mother and other teachers and how they treated the children with love and patience. Furthermore, I dealt with parents at pick-up and drop-off times, learning how to manage the critical parent-teacher relationship. Our dinner table was always full of discussions about how to handle a challenging child, parent or situation. You could say that working with children and parents is in my blood.
What brought me here.
Through my experience at the Montessori school, I never lost touch with how it feels to be a young child. After graduating college, I taught English as a Second Language in public school in Brooklyn for several years. There I developed a method that allowed each student to move at his or her own pace, keeping them in charge of their own learning.
Teaching turned me into a real giver. I had troubled students who needed a great deal of guidance and support, and the only way to educate them was to give selflessly and endlessly, to be tirelessly patient. It was then that I realized how much of a true joy it was for me to perform overflowing acts of kindness.
I then spent five years abroad teaching Hebrew and English studies in Israel and South Africa managing the education of at-risk children. Several years after returning to teach in New York, I had an amazing realization that most educational problems were fueled by children’s underlying emotional difficulties and/or issues in the home. Therefore, the greatest way to help children was to go behind the scenes and help them gain emotional health and to develop the critical parent-child relationship. So in 2009, I went full time into mental health.
Through the years, my mentors in the study of psychology and social work have guided me along a clear path in understanding children's development and emotional health as well as key parenting skills. In addition to my formal education in mental health, I developed my parenting techniques based on what I learned from my mentors, my teaching history and my experience raising my own four boys.
My philosophy of child-rearing is one of being patient, tolerant, flexible, gentle, kind, and humble before children. They are very sensitive and fragile and must be handled with extreme care and gentleness. They should be given as much control as possible over their own lives and need to be allowed to practice making decisions. They need to be shown unconditional approval and acceptance.
Parenting is an important focal point in supporting your child’s growth. We as parents are the most important people in our children's lives, and we have tremendous power to influence their emotional health and overall well-being. By tuning up our parenting, we can improve our children's behavior and change their lives.
In addition to my focus on parenting, I gravitated toward the Child-Centered method of play therapy. It has its roots in the same humanistic philosophy as the Child-Centered Montessori method I grew up with, and my playroom feels very much like my mother’s Montessori classroom. Both empower children, giving them the privilege of self-determination and direction, allowing them to make all of their own choices. Both avoid evaluating children, instead allowing each child to evaluate him or herself.
I have seen amazing results with Child-Centered Play Therapy! When properly executed, it has a fantastic ability to literally cure many behavior problems and emotional disorders. Play therapy puts your child in the drivers’ seat, and the feeling of control that he or she gains over his own life during sessions is immensely healthy.
My greatest joy and satisfaction comes from bestowing kindness toward children. I see parenting as an opportunity to experience the exquisite pleasure of giving, as there is nothing greater than seeing that your hard work has helped your child become healthy and well-adjusted. I have seen how effective Parenting Counseling and Play Therapy can be in helping your child achieve emotional health.
Tribeca Family Therapy
Many of the parents of children I work with report other emotional health issues with the parents themselves individually, the couple, or the family as a whole. Therefore I have expanded my practice to cater to the issues of the family as a whole, especially regarding certain issues I have good experience with such as, family and couples therapy, adult ADHD, anger management, perfectionism and mind-body disorders such as back or body pain. It is my pleasure to serve the entire family's needs!
I have spent considerable time abroad learning about other cultures. Indeed, my wife is from Argentina. I enjoy studying languages. So far I have managed to pick up Spanish, Hebrew, and a rusty French.
When I am not doing Play Therapy or providing Parenting Counseling, I enjoy spending time with my energetic family, as well as studying, hiking and swimming in the mountains of upstate New York.
If you would like to take your relationship with your child or family to the next level, and feel I may be the right one to help you, give me a call at 646-528-2528 for a free 15-minute consultation. Or, feel free to download one of my free reports and get on my email list. I look forward to speaking with you!